Syndication and Train Networking

Finally talked Matthew into getting an LJ: fosteronfilm. He’s still dubious about blogging in general, but he plans to use it to post and syndicate updates to his Foster on Film website, his movie review/criticism and Dragon*Con Film Festival/Track site.

As part of my “see what LJ can do for you” spiel, I did a lot of research on how syndication works. Learned how to code RSS just as I discovered that LJ does it automatically. Sigh. Oh well, new skills are never a bad thing, right?

So I wouldn’t feel like I’d totally wasted my time (don’t ask me to explain the sense behind my logic), I found this website which makes customized RSS chicklets instead of those ugly orange buttons and registered with Feedburner:

Writing Stuff

So I get a phone call from Ann Crispin, my writing mentor, and as it turns out, a funny thing happened to her on the train. No, wait, that sounds like the beginning of a bad joke. Um, so anyway, she’s on this train and she’s chatting with one of her fellow passengers, passing the time, and the topic of conversation turns to their respective occupations. As it turns out, the person she met works for Simon & Schuster in their children’s subsidiary rights division, and they both chuckle when Ann reveals she’s an author. They talk some more, Ann learns that S&S are in the market for middle-grade fantasy, and brings me and my manuscript up. Ann’s new friend expresses interest and says that she’ll give the editorial division a head’s up to expect a submission from my agent and provides Ann with a trio of names.

Of course I immediately fire off an email to my agent, who is going to prep a couple copies of my manuscript to send out ASAP.

Wow wow wow.

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33 Responses to Syndication and Train Networking

  1. cricketshay says:

    That is wonderful!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I’m trying not to get too worked up over it, since we’re still in the “send them the manscript” phase, but the serendipity of this just makes me all light-headed and giddy!

  2. pyanfar says:

    two more reasons why Eugie totally rocks:
    1. she chats with A.C. CRISPIN on the phone and it’s a *normal occurance*
    2. she has the CUTEST pet skunk in the world!! how cute!


    • Eugie Foster says:

      Hee, I met Ann when I took her 2000 Dragon*Con Writers workshop. My DC2K class keeps in touch with her regularly; she’s absolutely fantastic. And Hobkin says “thanks!”

  3. matociquala says:

    creepy how that works, isn’t it?


  4. cmpriest says:

    synchronicity rules 😉

    and oh – -here’s another button maker.
    fun things, yes.

  5. aimeempayne says:

    It’s like the end of an old A-Team episode when Hannibal chomps on a cigar and says, “I love it when a plan comes together.”

    Good for you and congratulations.

  6. kittymel says:

    OMG!! That train story is wonderful!!

  7. puskunk says:

    wow! Holy crap, that’s wonderful!!

  8. gardenwaltz says:

    networking is the absolute coolest.

  9. the_new_low says:

    That is an amazing stroke of good luck. It seems like someone “up there” or “somewhere” might be looking out for you.

  10. mroctober says:

    COngrats! Again, it’s proof to my belief that making friends, real friends, in the industry can always bring good fortune.

    Would be cool if S&S takes it – that would mean I know personally 3 people with them!

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I never bought that it was about who you knew, rather than how you wrote, but I’m willing to be shown the error of my thinking . . .

      • mroctober says:

        It’s a bit of both actually. Yes, one can get published and successful without the assistant of others, but it’s actually pretty rare. Writing is a tight-knit community and we all want our friends to succeed so we push. And publishers are always looking for the next great author and who better to recommend than someone they admire?

  11. tstauffer says:

    It’s all you, baby. You took initiative and got the ball rolling with taking Ann’s workshop (which I missed because I was staffing at the con at the time). That’s really cool. Good luck with that. If it’s accepted, invite me to the party. 😉

    • Eugie Foster says:

      If S&S picks up my manuscript, you better believe everyone’s invited to the party!

      And hey, you can still attend Ann’s D*C workshop (assuming Ann does it again this year)!

  12. galateadia says:

    this is me keeping my fingers crossed for ya!

  13. sonnydenbow says:

    Only goes to show it pays to talk to those around you on the train 🙂 Congrats and best of luck with S&S! BTW, linked your journal into My Yahoo. So cool seeing it listed along with Reuters, E! Online, and FoxTrot.

  14. nojojojo says:

    Networking, baby! Gotta love it. But I have a related-but-different question: how did you acquire A.C. Crispin as a writing mentor? And can you offer any advice on how a somewhat shy wannabe-pro can acquire a writing mentor of her own?

    • Eugie Foster says:

      I took Ann’s Writers Workshop at Dragon*Con in 2000. Many of our class stuck together afterwords and formed a writers group (which has a weekly online chat), and we keep in touch with each other and Ann on a regular basis via email, a private Yahoo group, IMs, LJ, and phone calls. Many of us reunite with Ann at D*C, and some of us have taken her Advanced Writers Workshop. At the convention we all try to go out for lunch or dinner as a group so we can catch up on everyone’s accomplishments, trials, etc. Last year, Ann asked me to do a guest lecture at her beginners Writers Workshop on short story marketing and took me to lunch afterward. She also introduced me to her writing collaborator Kathy O’Malley, and asked her friend Victoria Strauss to read one of my stories (which is how I got blurbs from them for “Running on Two Legs”).

      She’s very approachable and has always taken an active interest in her students’ careers. For some reason, I think we’re the only class that stuck together afterward, although we’ve acquired a few strays from others of Ann’s workshops.

      Basically, I think the best way to acquire a mentor is to seek out experienced professionals in the field either formally–by attending workshops or classes they teach–or informally, by being social on online boards where they hang out, or websites they run (like I know Holly Lisle is quite active in helping up-and-coming writers at her Forward Motion site), and just being approachable and friendly. Most writers like talking about writing, and the SF community is full of wonderful people.

  15. dean13 says:

    RSS is very cool. Thanks to Feedburner you are now on my yahoo home page.

    Networking is also very cool. The more eyeballs that see Matt’s work the more likely it is that he will find a gig reviewing films for fun and profit. Networking got me my first job as a software engineer.

    • Eugie Foster says:

      Yay for feedburner! Matthew’s also syndicating his website updates, so go add him to your Yahoo homepage too!

      Networking is great; I’m all about networking! ‘Cept it’s hard to really count on it on a regular basis. It’s mostly a wacky luck thing–right place, right time. But I guess the more folks you know and network with, the better chance of synchronicity happening.

  16. I’m late, but I wanted to say congrats and “Yayyy!” on the agent. That’s great news.

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